Well-traveled performer stops at Porter Library for 'Rising Star' recital

Michelle Pauker, seen in the role of Hermia in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," will be at Porter Library on Feb. 20.

For the sixth year, "Catch a Rising Star: Baldwin Wallace Music Theater in Recital" will be sponsored by the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council. This free program, which showcases the musical talents of Michelle Pauker, takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road.

Pauker’s program is an inviting mix of show tunes, including "Phantom of the Opera," "West Side Story" and "The Light in the Piazza," sprinkled with contemporary classics including the Beatles’ "Let It Be." Beth Burrier, BW associate professor and music director, will provide piano accompaniment for Pauker. 

Pauker’s extensive list of performances includes Maria in "West Side Story" and appearances at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival last year in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (as Hermis, her first leading role in a Shakespeare production) and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." This past fall she worked with Great Lakes at Playhouse Square. She has performed in "A Chorus Line," "All Shook Up," and spent a summer at the Forestburgh Playhouse, New York State's oldest professional summer theatre, where she appeared in five different shows. Her favorite role that summer was Cinderella in "Into the Woods."

Currently in her senior year in Baldwin Wallace University’s prestigious music theatre program, Pauker began at a very young age to polish and perfect her innate talents, which are framed by a genuine enthusiasm that touches audiences.

Describing her hometown of Westport, Connecticut, as a “wonderful hometown for an aspiring actress,” Pauker said the “entire town celebrates the arts.” She compared her early experiences to being in “a theatre day camp.” She had the opportunity to be in shows at Music Theatre of Connecticut as early as 7 or 8 years old, took voice lessons and acting classes, and was in shows every summer. She added that Westport’s close proximity to New York City (just over an hour by train) allowed her to get a feel for the city even before she decided to begin a career there.

If time allows following the Feb. 20 performance, the audience will have a chance to pose questions to the performers. “Catch a Rising Star” programs are an occasion to enjoy young, talented performers without cost, which embodies the WWAC mission to provide an enhanced and broadened cultural life that will promote awareness, education and involvement in the arts.

Louise Seeholzer

Publicist for Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 9:58 AM, 02.06.2018